Series Engaging All Students in Common Core Math: Teach Kids, Not Just Math

Teach Kids, Not Just Math

Lesson Objective: Engage and connect with students
All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How did Mr. Pack's mindset shift affect his teaching?
  2. What does Mr. Pack describe as the benefits of collaboration?
  3. How can you communicate to students that you're interested in teaching kids, not just?


  • Private message to Miguel Friday

This was my struggle my first year of teaching high school. I had to adjust to the mindset that I am teaching students, not the langauge itself. My primary job was and is to help them understand a language they wanted to learn. 

Like him I had my mentors and the department team I could go to, to get feedback in how to adjust my mindset, my teaching style. One thing my mentor mentioned is, you have to develop your own style. It ok to model what others do, but eventually you will find what works for you.

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  • Private message to Katherine Chapp
Yes, that is one thing that all teachers need to remember.....we are teaching kids, not subjects!!
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  • Private message to Robert Leabo
*ERR I do - We do - You do
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  • Private message to Robert Leabo
EXACTLY @ Adam what I've come to realize. As first year teachers we're under the pressure to follow the curriculum map and hit all the objectives but a lot of times it's at the sake of the students' learning. I felt a lot like I was just "dragging" them through the lessons just to say I taught the lessons. It didn't do me any good and frustrated us all at the end. I was a lot better this time around focusing on building relationships AND classroom management! Both were key to help lay the groundwork toward mastering the content. Next year I'll refine management and focus on delivering slower and more procedural lessons ("I do - You do - We do") to hopefully make my third year, THE year! :D
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  • Private message to Adam Hopson
I imagine this is a trap many new teachers fall into: focusing on content and not learners. Teaching is a student-first driven profession; unfortunately, subject content can be a distraction when teachers plan lessons. As teachers we shold be careful to not concentrate on subject benchmarks or schedules, and instead concentrate on creating a learner-first environment. If we do this, then the rest will follow!
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  • Teach Kids Not Just Math Transcript

    Chuck Pack [in class]: Did you learn anything today?

    Chuck Pack: When I came to Tallequa

    Teach Kids Not Just Math Transcript

    Chuck Pack [in class]: Did you learn anything today?

    Chuck Pack: When I came to Tallequa High School to try to teach an Algebra 1 course, I'd been teaching mathematics at our University and had done that for 2 years. In those first few days, I was dying. I had no idea how to classroom management. I had no idea how to talk to students. And I had a principal who said to me - it's a key phrase in my life now - "you're not teaching mathematics, you're teaching kids." And until I had that paradigm shift that I'm teaching kids, what it means to be big people, what it means to be adults - it was a struggle. And I finally got what he understands about 12 weeks into that first year.

    Chuck Pack [in class]: So, now each of you have to answer what you think it is. Having those other colleagues collaborating with me, helping me to develop strategies - made me better. They are the ones that have made me strong.


School Details

Tahlequah High School
591 Pendleton Street
Tahlequah OK 74464
Population: 1206

Data Provided By:



Chuck Pack


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